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Symplocos tinctoria

Common Name(s):
Horse-sugar, Horsesugar
Categories:
Native Plants, Shrubs, Trees
Comment:

Symplocos tinctoria is a deciduous or weakly evergreen shrub or small tree to 18 ft. that usually flowers before the leaves appear.  The bark is smooth and grayish brown to green initially.  Warty lenticels and shallow pits develope as the tree ages.

Regions:  Mountain, Piedmont, Coastal Plains

Seasons of Interest: 

  Blooms:  Early spring, spring            Nut/Fruit/Seed:  Late summer

Wildlife Value:  This plant is moderately resistant to damage from deer.  It is a host plant for King's Hairstreak butterfly.  Adult butterflies nectar from the blooms in early spring.  Its fruits are eaten by birds and small mammals.   

 

 

Height:
15-35 ft.
Flower:
The Horse-sugar has compact clusters of small, fragrant, cream-colored flowers that are borne in profusion along the branches of the previous season’s growth. Numerous stamens make the blooms particularly showy. It has orange to brown fruit.
Zones:
7-9
Habit:
Deciduous to evergreen
Site:
The Horse-sugar will grow in wet or moist, sandy or alluvial soils. It will tolerate seasonal flooding and poor soil.
Texture:
Medium
Form:
Upright to rounded
Exposure:
Sun to partial shade; moist to dry soil
Fruit:
Compact cluster of yellow to cream fluffy flowers in early spring on previous years growth; fragrant; orange to brown fruit
Width:
15-20 ft.
Growth Rate:
Moderate
Leaf:
The Horse-sugar is a shrub or small tree with a short trunk, open crown of spreading branches, and foliage with a sweetish taste. It has 3 to 6 in. alternate simple, lustrous dark green leaves. Some leaves may remain on the tree until springtime.
Tags:
butterfly, host plant, deciduous, birds, fragrant, showy

NCCES plant id: 563

Symplocos tinctoria Symplocos tinctoria
Suzanne Caldwell, CC BY-NC - 4.0
Symplocos tinctoria Symplocos tinctoria
Suzanne Caldwell, CC BY-NC - 4.0